Thursday, May 30, 2024

CCSO to closely monitor school bus routes on 116


After receiving several complaints about drivers passing school buses while unloading and loading children, the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office said in an April 10 Facebook post that they will be increasing their patrol along school bus routes on FM 116.

“Even if you're experiencing an emergency, there is no excuse to pass a school bus at 80 mph,” Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike Ratterman wrote in the post.

Ratterman said he has received complaints on the issue from the bus drivers, school districts, and parents. He said the reports were coming in every few days. 

“I will continue to be extremely proactive in the monitoring of cars passing our buses while loading and unloading children,” he said. “This is not a flavor of the week thing, and the constant monitoring is not going to stop.”

For drivers who are caught passing a stopped school bus picking up or dropping off kids, Ratterman said they will receive a citation that carries a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. The $500 fine is set by the Texas Transportation Code 545.066.

While most of the reports came from FM 116, he said he has also received complaints on County Road 142, Highway 190, and South FM 116 going out of Copperas Cove toward Kempner.

Ratterman emphasizes the risk drivers take toward a child’s safety if they pass a stopped school bus.

“People should understand that passing these buses poses a serious threat to the safety of our kids,” he said. “A lot of these kids are elementary age and are ‘conditioned’ to cross the road while believing they are safe. Some may not look both ways because they’re used to traffic stopping. This is not always the case, and passing cars may hit one of our children.”